Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin fractured his hand punching the team’s equipment manager when a bullying incident escalated out of control.
Griffin, 26, and Matias Testi were dining with Griffin’s teammate, center DeAndre Jordan, 27, and assistant athletic trainer Joe Resendez at Toronto’s Sotto Sotto restaurant on Jan. 23.
After teasing each other back and forth, Griffin reportedly stood up from the table and punched Testi. The other 2 men broke up the fight but Griffin pursued Testi outside and punched him repeatedly in the face.
Toronto police interviewed both men but Testi declined to press charges. He was treated at a Toronto hospital for minor facial injuries.
“Those guys are really close friends of mine, like brothers to me,” Jordan told the LA Times.
The NBA interviewed Jordan and Resendez about the incident. Jordan declined to elaborate when asked by the LA Times to discuss what happened.
“It’s a tough situation,” Jordan said. “Two guys that I’m super close with and it’s sticky, man. It’s tough.”
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers called the incident “frustrating” and a “Distraction.”
“This type of stuff shouldn’t happen, but it did, and it’s real life, and you have to deal with real life sometimes in our make-believe world,” he said.
Griffin apologized to the team’s fans on Twitter.com. He is expected to be out for 4-6 weeks.